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ybrikman

ybrikman

Neuromancer

Neuromancer - William Gibson I can understand and appreciate that this book is "a classic" and one of the first to introduce a number of concepts that are commonplace in sci-fi today. The story includes lots of fascinating topics, including cyberspace, AI, virtual reality, genetic engineering and so on. Had I read it when it first came out, perhaps I would've been blown away. However, reading it today, 25 years after it was originally published, I'm just not that entertained.

* The story itself is pretty scatter brain and at times, hard to follow. Gibson intentionally throws the reader in the middle of a strange world and does very little explaining. On the one hand, it can sometimes be fun to try to follow along and figure out what the surroundings are. At other times, it can be frustrating and feel like a waste of time that could have easily been avoided with a simple explanatory sentence or two.

* The plot starts out relatively boring and simple and while the world surrounding it can get complex, the main storyline has very few interesting twists or intricacies to it.

* The characters are mostly flat and uninteresting and you never get attached to them. I was constantly indifferent to whether they'd live or die, succeed or fail, end up happy or miserable.

* While the writing style can be interesting and intriguing at some points, other parts of the book sound like a prepubescent nerd's wet dream - you can almost hear a nasally voice reading the story to you, pushing his coke bottle glasses up his nose periodically.

In short, the entertainment value of the book just didn't age well. However, it's influence on the sci-fi is clear and the numerous new ideas it brought to the table have become a staple of the genre.